Daio Wasabi Farm

A fun side trip from Matsumoto that packs a punch

When visiting Matsumoto, a charming city in Nagano Prefecture, there is a hidden gem that should not be missed. Just a short distance away lies the Daio Wasabi Farm in Azumino, a 15-hectare farm that offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Whether you are a fan of wasabi or simply curious about japan‘s popular condiment, this excursion is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The farm, which has been in operation since 1917, is not only the largest commercial wasabi farm in the world but also a place where visitors can explore the beautiful grounds and learn about the cultivation of this iconic plant. From the moment you step foot on the farm, you are greeted by a serene and picturesque landscape. The rows of perfectly spaced wasabi plants in their cultivated gravel beds, conforming to the flow of the streams running through the property, resemble a work of art rather than an agricultural site.

One of the highlights of visiting the Daio Wasabi Farm is the opportunity to take your time and explore at your own pace. Wandering the farm at leisure allows you to take in the idyllic scenery and appreciate the Zen-like aesthetic of the grounds. The farm workers take great pride in maintaining the perfect conditions for the wasabi plants to thrive. Thanks to the mineral-charged water from the neighboring Alps and their careful attention, the plants grow vibrantly, showcasing their lush green leaves.

As you stroll along the network of walking trails throughout the farm, you will come across various points of interest. One notable feature is the watermills and thatch-roofed houses that were constructed as part of a film set for Akira Kurosawa’s 1990 film “Dreams.” These structures add a touch of nostalgia and provide a glimpse into the past. They stand beautifully on the banks of the Tate River, which borders the property. In the warmer months, visitors can even take a short rafting ride for a different view of the farm and its surroundings.

Of course, no visit to the Daio Wasabi Farm would be complete without indulging in some of the intriguing wasabi-based cuisine at the on-site restaurant. The farm’s restaurant offers an eclectic mix of dishes that showcase the versatility of this condiment. From wasabi pickles to wasabi rice crackers, there is something to suit every palate. For those looking for a more substantial meal, options such as wasabi soba, wasabi croquettes, and even wasabi curry are available. For the adventurous foodies, there is even wasabi soft-serve ice cream, green glass of wasabi beer, and wasabi soda to try. And for those who want to take a piece of the farm home with them, the farm’s shop offers a wide range of wasabi-related products and gifts, including wasabi-flavored KitKats.

Getting to the Daio Wasabi Farm is relatively easy. From Matsumoto, you can reach the farm by bus, taxi, or bike. Hotaka Station on the JR Oito Line is the nearest station to the farm, located just 30 minutes away from Matsumoto. Buses serving the station and the farm operate on weekends between mid-April and October, providing a convenient option for transportation. Taxis are also available outside the station and offer a quick and hassle-free journey that takes around 10 minutes. Another popular option, especially during the warmer months, is to rent a bike at the station and enjoy the scenic ride through the Nagano countryside.

In conclusion, the Daio Wasabi Farm in Azumino is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Matsumoto or the Nagano Prefecture. Its expansive grounds, picturesque scenery, and unique offerings make it a perfect day trip for those seeking a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you are a food enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, the farm has something to offer for everyone. So, don’t miss the chance to explore this hidden gem and become an expert on Japan’s beloved condiment, wasabi.

Address And Maps Location:

3640 Hotaka, Azumi-shi, Nagano-ken

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